Rev. Father James T. Adams
July 3, 1930 – September 27, 2017

It is with great sadness yet with hope in the Resurrection that the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco conveys news of the passing of Rev. Father James T. Adams, who fell asleep in the Lord on September 27, 2017 at the age of 87. Father James was a distinguished clergyman in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for over 62 years. 

“Father James was a priest who truly gave his entire life in service to the Lord. He was selfless, loving, honest and faithful throughout his 62 years in the priesthood, and always endeavored to elicit those same qualities in those he served,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “It was a blessing to have him serve as my Chancellor, bringing with him years of experience, and a great deal of compassion and pastoral care in his interaction with our clergy and faithful. Presvytera Evelyn was his soulmate and I know that she and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all deeply mourn his passing. I offer my sympathy and prayers that God will comfort their grieving hearts.”

Born to his parents Thomas and Penelope Adams in Oakland, California on July 3, 1930, Father James was active in his home parish of Ascension Cathedral in Oakland where he shared his gift of music as a choir member. Following high school, Father James attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts from 1948 – 1953. He met and married Evelyn Spallas, and then they moved to Greece where he completed his theological education at the Rizarion Seminary in Athens, Greece. 

Father James was ordained into the Holy Diaconate on May 14, 1954 at the Church of Saint George in Athens, Greece, and was ordained into the Holy Priesthood at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco on August 15, 1955. 

He served numerous parishes during his years of active ministry. Each community where he was assigned was blessed with his steady leadership, loving instruction, and a deep and abiding commitment to the Lord. His legacy of service includes: Saint Alexios and Saint Barbara Chapels – Ely and McGill, Nevada (1955 – 1956); Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral – Salt Lake City, Utah (1956 – 1958); Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church – Anchorage, Alaska (1958 – 1961); Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church – Las Vegas, Nevada (1961 – 1970); Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church – Novato, California (1970 – 1984); Chancellor – Diocese of San Francisco (1984 – 1987); and Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral – Los Angeles, California (1987 – 1995). 

Taking to heart the words, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4), Father James continued to unselfishly answer the call of the Church after his retirement in 1995 and served several parishes in the Metropolis on an interim basis, providing for the spiritual needs of several congregations during times of growth and transition, including: Saint Dionysios Greek Orthodox Church – Pittsburg, California (1996 – 2000); Greek Orthodox Mission – Maui, Hawaii (2000 – 2002); Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church – Santa Barbara, California (2002 – 2003); Assumption Greek Orthodox Church – Long Beach, California (2004 – 2006); Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church – San Francisco, California (2007 – 2008); and Chancellor – Metropolis of San Francisco (2008 – 2011).

He was loved and respected by his former parishioners for his devotion, faithfulness and kindness, and has been a source of inspiration for the younger clergy he has mentored during his ministry.

Father James shared 64 joyful years of marriage with Presvytera Evelyn who was not just the love of his life but also a source of strength and inspiration for his ministry. They were blessed with four adoring children – Bill (Lisa), Penny (Rich Galliani), Tom, and Evangeline, their infant daughter who reposed at birth in 1964. Their grandchildren brought great fulfillment to their lives and Father James was blessed to have them all nearby so he could share in their daily lives: Raychel, Jimmy, Chris (Julia), Jesse, and Corinna. He was predeceased by a beloved granddaughter, Evyenia, who reposed at birth in 2016. Father James was also blessed with two great-grandchildren whom he adored: Mila Anastasia and Atticus Demetrios. His life was further enhanced in more recent years with the addition of his step-grandchildren Dominic, Alex, Anika and Matt Galliani. Father James is also survived by his sister Patricia Hook from San Diego. 

His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco will preside at the services, all of which will be held at the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, 1110 Highland Drive, Novato, CA. The Trisagion service will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, with visitation from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. On Wednesday, October 4, Orthros will begin at 8:00 a.m., Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m., and the Funeral at 10:30 a.m. All are invited to join the family at the Makaria which will be held immediately following the Funeral service. The interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Father James Adams to: Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, 1110 Highland Drive, Novato, CA 94949; or the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos Bishop Anthony Philoptochos Student Aid Endowment Fund, 245 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

May his memory be eternal!